Flies for freshwater cohos

#1
I'm rethinking some of my previous choices. What fly sizes do you prefer for cohos in rivers?

Any preference between hairwing streamers, feather wings, maribou streamers?
 

Pat Lat

Mad Flyentist
#4
fish a sparse alevin pattern, then it looks like an egg, but you will be impervious to all the ridicule that comes along with fishing egg patterns
 

Smalma

Active Member
#5
Hands down a Knusden spider has been my most consistent coho producer!

I like them in a size 4 and find them in a variety of colors can be helpful. Typically fish them with natural mallard flank feathers for a hackle and chenille bodies of yellow, black, orange, dark olive or chartreuse. Have found that when I find a body of coho that shut down after a few fish a color change often will add another fish or two. While the spiders are my go to coho flies I would also add a few "flash flies" in 6s and 2s as well as a few baitfish and sculpin patterns (usually 3 inches long or so) in the mix.

Pretty old school in my fishing approach. Fish unweighted flies on either a full sinking line or 24 foot sink tip. Fish my flies above the level of the fish with strips of various length and cadence. Like to fish slack water areas, back waters, sloughs and in the wood (logs, root wads and log jams). At times have had success with a floating line and unweighted spiders or my "fall muddler" (See Les Johnson's "Fly-Fishing Costal Cutthroat Trout") in some of the shallower holding water.

Curt
 

Greg Armstrong

OldRodsHaveMoreFun
#6
Not surprisingly, Curt is right about the muddlers - but it was surprising to me when I caught three coho one day earlier this fall on a muddler pattern while not even targeting coho. I've caught them on a muddler before, but never three in one day.
For an up-river fish that's not known to actually feed, it just surprises me that they would eat one, but that they do.
 
#7
I like a size 6 Dali lama in flesh color but pink and purple works well too. I think the key is having something heavy enough to get down and lots of action on the fly.
 

flyfishmt

Active Member
#8
I fish the rivers on Vancouver Island every year for Coho and small (6, 8 & 10) rolled muddlers are my number one producer. I tie them very sparse with only 2 - 4 strands of Krystal flash. Blue, chartreuse and natural all work well and I use both gold and silver bead heads. I use gold and silver tinsel along with different colors of wrapped Krystal flash for the bodies. Over the last couple of years, I have been coating the bodies with Clear Cure Goo, as the flies hold up better against their teeth. I always use a loop when tying my flies on to give them some added action.

The added bonus is the Cutties just go nuts over them as well.
 

Topstoy

In search of Trout
#10
I fish the rivers on Vancouver Island every year for Coho and small (6, 8 & 10) rolled muddlers are my number one producer. I tie them very sparse with only 2 - 4 strands of Krystal flash. Blue, chartreuse and natural all work well and I use both gold and silver bead heads. I use gold and silver tinsel along with different colors of wrapped Krystal flash for the bodies. Over the last couple of years, I have been coating the bodies with Clear Cure Goo, as the flies hold up better against their teeth. I always use a loop when tying my flies on to give them some added action.

The added bonus is the Cutties just go nuts over them as well.
I agree, Rolled Muddlers have worked well for me.
 

Smalma

Active Member
#11
JayB -
While I tend to mostly fish spiders for holding coho (their location is more predictable and consistent) I have also done well on traveling coho; especially those in and just above tide water.

Curt
 

Flyborg

Active Member
#13
I've had days where the only fly I could get to work was a purple egg sucking leach. Several days this year I had multiple fish days on white bunny leeches, after trying everything else in my box. I've had other days with intermittent success on larger flies like flash taco's, prom dresses, MOAL's. Usually, I can get them to only bite on one color/size. Once I figure out what that is its game on. But my biggest days are always on smaller, sparse flies in size 4 or 6. Sharp Steelies in various colors and smaller hairwing patterns like purple Last Call's have led to some of my most epic fishing days ever. I've had limited success with egg patterns. Never an epic day but if I hit them early or late in the season with eggs I can get a few. With Coho I prefer flies that appeal during the dead drift, swing and strip. While I've hooked fish with egg patterns on the strip, it's a pretty rare occurence :)

When Coho are in the river I try to bring a large array of flies. You'll see the jacks jumping in the run, swing and strip through the run repeatedly without even a bump. Or you'll see a pod rolling below structure in deeper water. Or moving around in the bucket prepping to move up. Then you try the next fly and suddenly you're hooking fish every cast on the strip.

After the last thread someone brought up Jim Kerr's observation about pressured coho reverting to ocean feeding patterns where they eat smaller-shrimplike looking things (I forget exactly what they're called), leading him to have a lot of success on smaller bright size 4 and 6 patterns, which mirrors my success in pressured waters.
 
#14
I like a size 6 Dali lama in flesh color but pink and purple works well too. I think the key is having something heavy enough to get down and lots of action on the fly.

Dolly Llama all the way. I was swinging for Bows on the Kenai this Fall and could not keep the Silvers off my fly. Olive and white was the ticket.